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“Police did not make clear whether the officer’s weapon malfunctioned or whether the officer inadvertently pulled the trigger.” – Marcus K. Garner and Ben Gray in Police: DeKalb officer shot teen skipping school [at]

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    • Because the young man matched the description of home invaders and he fled when the police arrived. Once he fled, he concealed himself and then startled the K9 dog. I have no problem with the officer’s actions until he pulled the trigger.

    • Because this young man was stupid enough to flee from police officers who, unknown to him, were searching for a burglary suspect. I like that his Aunt didn’t get all Al Sharpton, instead saying ““I told him he knew better, he should have been on the school bus. If he’d been at school this would have never occurred.”

      Now, that said, shooting a burglar who is merely fleeing is not kosher per the Supreme Court’s Tennessee v. Garner. So… not a good shoot. But it sounds like poor trigger discipline again.

  1. I love how the chief of police said it was an “unintentional misfire.” Let’s think about that for a second, shall we?

  2. “Unintentional misfire” scenarios involve bad ammo discovered with a trigger pull that doesn’t detonate the round on time. Not sight picture and an unneeded gun shot.

    • I’d still say that pretty much all misfires are unintentional, the only exceptions being pranks played with known duds and cases resulting from the action of saboteurs at munitions plants.

    • I’m being completely serious – has ANYONE ever heard of a firearm discharging on its own because of some kind of mechanical fault? I haven’t. In the interest of intellectual honesty, I’m genuinely curious if this has ever occurred.

      • Once for me, a Mosin just “went off.”

        It was at the range; a kid with one commented on mine. We handed our rifles to one another, pointed straight up with hand at the midpoint – nowhere near the triggers – and (in my case) the bolt drawn back.

        As he handed his to me, his horribly worn sear let the bolt do its thing and BOOM.

        When it’s at eye level and a foot away with milsurp ammo, the boom merits capitalization.

        It was quite some time before my ears stopped ringing, and I’m now just a tidge more conscientious about checking others’ arms from a distance before I touch ‘em. The other moral is never expose your ears to gab at the line.

        I dunno whether or not a mechanical malfunction of this sort constitutes an ND. Show of hands?

        • Wow. That would scare the bejeebers out of me… While it was certainly negligent, it wasn’t the kid who fired the shot. That does sound like rifle “went off.” But it was definitely negligent to hand someone else a loaded gun.

        • Wasn’t the Remington 700 involved in some incidents where they discharged without human interference. Something about a design flaw in the trigger group?

        • The only ND I’ve ever had was with Mosin. I was at a buddy’s house who has a berm and ~ 20 acres. I had just picked up a M44 from my FFL and wanted to try it out. Silly me had the safety engaged on a chambered round. I pointed the rifle at the ground and disengaged the safety to get my shooting fun on…Boom.

          When I released the safety (I use the term safety lightly), apparently I let it off to hard and fired a round about .25 inches from my big toe, I didn’t have my ear protection on (neither did my buddy). Needless to say I almost crapped myself. Those things are loud. The concrete slab that we shoot from still has a 5 inch crater, and I still get made fun of. The only safety worth a fvck on a Mosin Nagant is a closed bolt on an empty chamber.

        • @JaredFromTampa:

          The safety on a Mosin works beautifully, sir.

          However, as with the safety on anything that has one, when disengaging it on a c0cked weapon, one is trusting the trigger system to provide restraint until triggered.

          A damaged or badly worn weapon which is unable to hold its horses does not equate to a poorly designed or implemented safety.

        • Jared, a test that should be performed on all variants of the mosin is as follows. Make sure the rifle is empty. With a c0cked rifle, safety off, hold the rifle by the muzle end and rap the butt against a hard surface. My concrete garage floor works fine for this. If the bolt releases the internals are too worn for safety. Not to worry. Replacement parts are cheap and easy to find and replace.

        • @JWM and Russ: true enough. I didn’t know that at the time. I’m still shall I say, gun shy with the safety on my Mosins…they are still by far my favorite rifles though.

      • Have never seen it happen myself, but WW2 Nambu pistols, especially those built near the end of the war, were said to be so poorly made that they would fire from a hard bump, or falling.

        • Late war guns from ww2 made in Germany and Japan are referred to as “Last Ditch” guns. Most of the experts say these guns should be used as decoraters, not shooters.

          There was a Japanese pistol, a semi auto, that had the sear on the outside of the gun. Any bump on that could set off the pistol. I don’t remember it’s model number but it wasn’t a Nambu. This pistol I’m thinking of was designed with this flaw and even in peacetime with quality parts it was still unsafe to carry chambered.

      • I once heard of an old shotgun at a skeet shooting competition going off while laying on a table, killing it’s elderly owner. Apparently it was very old, not drop safe, and the internals had beet somewhat worn or corroded.

        If that’s exactly how it happened or if there are details that were not mentioned in the story will never be certain.

  3. The only person in the story that seems to have any sense is the aunt: “I’m not going to allow myself to get upset, I told him he knew better, he should have been on the school bus. If he’d been at school this would have never occurred.”

    • I like the response too. Wonder if it’ll change after a lawyer gets in her ear. I say can the cop, pay the doc, and call it a day. In a perfect world.

    • They are. That’s why this is an unfortunate “malfunction”. For an added
      bonus this also shows dangerous firearms themselves are.

    • I normally do not reply to people I don’t see on here often, but what makes you say that? Trolling for Glock fanboys? Every gun I’ve ever carried tends to fire when the trigger is squeezed…

  4. Wow, so now the thugs in blue have moved on to shooting people for something as trivial as skipping school? Come on, police apologists – lets hear you try to justify this one.

    • C’mon, Tote, you say a lot of things, but you’re not usually purposefully ignorant. There’s nothing to “justify” here, at least not in the manner you mean. This was not a case of “shooting him for skipping school” and you know it. The cop didn’t know he was truant, and it was a negligent discharge of the firearm.

      • Right “negligent discharge”. You mean “putting his finger on the trigger and then pulling the trigger”. Cops wanted to shoot someone and they did. They might not have known he was skipping school, but they have no grounds at all to claim that they were justified in shooting, so now they’re going with the mythical “it just went off” claim.

    • Maybe this country and its horrible schools would be better off if truants had the fear of being shot to deal with. A bit harsh indeed, but effective I’m sure. To take it further, imagine how much smarter kids would be if they got water boarded for not doing their math homework.

  5. What’s sad is that any non-gun people who read this will believe that it could be a gun malfunction because they don’t know any better. This includes the writer most likely. To give all benefit of the doubt to the LEO you have to believe that he had his finger off the trigger and was so startled that he automatically shot. Unless it’s a used gun, I find it hard to believe the sear was worn enough and if it
    was, that does not let the Police Dept off the hook.

    Any way you look at this it’s the police’s fault: bad equipment or bad training.

  6. This is a local story to me. This kid skipped school. Besides the facts of what happened with the officer, if this kid would have been in school he would have never been mistaken for a suspect.

  7. It is very unlikely that the weapon malfunctioned. However, if it did, the officer is still responsible for the shooting, because he is expected to ensure that his weapon is always in a fully functional (safe) condition. The only reason it could malfunction is because he did not properly inspect and maintain it.

  8. “The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.” = Paid Vacation.

    “When the officer’s dog tracked the teen to a shed the teen startled the officer and the dog, That’s when we had an unintentional misfire…” = Cops lifted firearm at teen and pulled trigger.

    “Alexander said that, had the youth stopped running, the incident probably wouldn’t have happened.” = Cops trying to place blame on the teen for having himself shot rather than placing blame on the cop who lifted his weapon and fired on him.

    “The chief acknowledged that the teen could have been killed.” and “The officers assumed the teen “was part of those (suspects) that were running away from the crime scene,” the chief said. “But actually, he’s running because he’s truant.”

    When was it declared acceptable to start shooting burgulars in the back while running? If a CCW did this, they would be in prison.

    • Your own quote contradicted your last (stupid and inflammatory) question. He was tracked to a shed. Somehow he surprised the officer and the dog, and he got shot. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that when the teen “surprised” the cop, they were less than 15 feet apart. He was hit in the arm. Where, out of any of that, do you get that he was “shot in the back while running?” It was a stupid fvckup, but don’t make it out to be some sort of wannabe execution.

      • Whew, Did I inflame you Matt? Somebody hand Matt a bag of frozen peas – he has some inflammation.

        Ok. I’ll agree with you. Having read it again it does sound as if I am trying to insinuate that the cops were shooting him in the back and that is not what occurred. I was being sarcastic because the cops had an “unintentional misfire” while burglar suspects were “running away” from the crime scene. Granted he surprised the officer’s dog and an “unintentional misfire” occurred. Again if it were you (unless you are a cop) or I had a “unintentional misfire” we would be in deep sh!t. But its OK if the officer does it. It’s just a paid vacation for them.

        On the other matters you and the little girl with the MP5 or whatever must agree. Right? Please say you are agreeing on the other points.

        • I agree, you or I would be in deep doo-doo. The little girl with the MP5 may have some issues. But she has an MP5, so I don’t disagree with her often.


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